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The Bourne Legacy (2012)

tomatometer

55

Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 215
Fresh: 119 | Rotten: 96

It isn't quite as compelling as the earlier trilogy, but The Bourne Legacy proves the franchise has stories left to tell -- and benefits from Jeremy Renner's magnetic work in the starring role.

52

Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 42
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 20

It isn't quite as compelling as the earlier trilogy, but The Bourne Legacy proves the franchise has stories left to tell -- and benefits from Jeremy Renner's magnetic work in the starring role.

audience

59

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 277,879

My Rating

Movie Info

The narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office: The Bourne Legacy. The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films. For The Bourne Legacy, Renner joins fellow

Dec 11, 2012

$113.2M

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All Critics (215) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (119) | Rotten (96) | DVD (3)

Shares crucial DNA with the earlier films but is drawn from the shallower end of the gene pool.

August 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Perhaps the most interesting question arising from The Bourne Legacy is just how long the filmmakers hope to trade on the Bourne name without any, you know, Bourne.

August 10, 2012 Full Review Source: The Atlantic | Comments (10)
The Atlantic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Renner and Weisz work well together as two hunted souls who initially need each other for utilitarian reasons.

August 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Denver Post | Comment (1)
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gilroy's a fine writer - he also penned Michael Clayton - but without the discipline of an action veteran like Greengrass to rein him in, he indulges his weakness to over-explain things.

August 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Comments (3)
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's twists and turns and nothing else. And fast and furious as it may be, if this is the best this once-smart series has to offer, this is no legacy.

August 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Comments (6)
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Bourne Legacy is one of Alfred Hitchcock's "refrigerator movies," in that it succeeds pretty well "in the moment" but starts to fall apart when considered in retrospect.

August 10, 2012 Full Review Source: ReelViews | Comments (5)
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A fine movie, in the end. And that's the problem. It's just fine. The first three "Bourne" movies were incredible.

November 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

The rather serious and businesslike film offers a handful of intense action scenes and some satisfying spy-vs-spy combat.

July 17, 2013 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

It doesn't so much as end as run out of running time.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

No one wanted this. Not even lapsed Christians sought to be "Bourne" again.

May 26, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

Legacy intact! Bourne Legacy ensures we've not seen the end of the franchise just yet.

March 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

Renner's Cross isn't as compelling a protagonist as Damon's troubled Bourne, but when it comes to bruising combat he certainly delivers.

January 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

Unless America is really that stuck on Matt Damon in the Bourne franchise, I see no reason that Renner's work here shouldn't make him a star.

December 17, 2012 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Semi-successful revamp uses Bourne's name

October 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

It couldn't ever hope to match the Paul Greengrass/Matt Damon movies for sheer punch and propulsion, but it's as close to replicating them as you could expect, and marks another excellent entry into the Bourneography.

October 19, 2012 Full Review Source: TheShiznit.co.uk
TheShiznit.co.uk

Nicely overlaps the previous films while carving a name of its own

October 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

'The Bourne Legacy' is by no means a bad film. Unfortunately, it just has trouble living up to the real world Jason Bourne 'legacy.'

September 27, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenRant
ScreenRant

There's a lot to like about The Bourne Legacy, but it's hard not to feel a little worried that the rich complexity of Ludlum's past work might be lost in the transition-and that's a legacy that really needs to be upheld.

September 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Shotgun Critic
Shotgun Critic

... all middle with no beginning -- and, of course, no end, so the franchise can go on.

September 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

"The Bourne Legacy" may not be the thriller the first three films managed to be. But, it's well written and very entertaining. Renner has become one of my favorite action stars.

September 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Chambers | Comment (1)
Movie Chambers

The Bourne Legacy is the strangest sequel to come out of the Hollywood studio system in a long, long time. It's a product of shallow studio greed and staggering creative ineptitude.

September 13, 2012 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered | Comment (1)
We Got This Covered

Though the weakest of the series, "The Bourne Legacy" is not a throw-away action film. It's one of the best thrillers of the year and a sure bet on the future success of the "Bourne" franchise.

September 5, 2012 Full Review Source: FoxNews.com | Comments (3)
FoxNews.com

If you can survive the first hour's complexities - you'll need to focus hard on the narrative to keep up - a pay-off, of sorts, awaits.

August 31, 2012 Full Review Source: The National
The National

Renner and Weisz make an entertaining action-movie odd couple, the terse man of action and the chatty scientist who learns fast how to react when the shooting starts.

August 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

(Renner) has the required intensity and physicality to make his character-a highly-trained, genetically enhanced undercover agent-completely believable.

August 24, 2012 Full Review Source: indieWIRE | Comments (3)
indieWIRE

It's not Renner's fault the script is a heap of dung.

August 24, 2012 Full Review Source: NECN | Comments (3)

Audience Reviews for The Bourne Legacy

An interesting addition to the series which runs concurrent with the last film time wise. The plot is starting to get stretched a bit thin now though, I liked the original films gritty realistic feel. Overall I think it was a bit hyped up and the ending was a bit sudden, not what I was hoping for but still a good action film.
May 6, 2013
Deano78

Super Reviewer

The Bourne Legacy looks and feels like another entry in the well liked series, but is missing the interesting characters and revelations that made the trilogy a massive hit in the last decade. Jeremy Renner is a fine actor and does well in the role of Aaron Cross, but the character itself is not as interesting as Jason Bourne and Matt Damon's magnetic portrayal which pushed it over the top. It was all about uncovering past mysteries before and it was genuinely compelling and well-crafted storytelling, but this entry is perfectly content to recycle material and deliver a mediocre story that doesn't have the push of past entries. Honestly, not much happens in this film in terms of the overall plot arc and the future is up in the air on whether or not we will ever get a sequel, which makes the non-ending of this film even more anti-climactic. The supporting characters also are not as compelling as the series past. Edward Norton plays a bland "villain" in this, despite also being an excellent actor, and Rachel Weisz is mostly wasted in the damsel in distress role. David Strathairn is certainly missed. The one criticism levied towards the original trilogy was the camerawork, which was mostly shaky-cam to add intensity, but some people complained they couldn't tell what was going on. I disagreed with this and thought it added a level of visceral satisfaction to the films. Legacy pretty much does away with them. It's a much more straightforward approach, adding to the blandness. There are some good things, mostly some excellent scenery and cinematography towards the beginning and some good action sequences. It is still Bourne, after all. The film itself is decently paced and can be entertaining, but it's a second rate version of the original films.
April 15, 2013
jlewis07

Super Reviewer

Bourne series scripter Tony Gilroy steps into the director's chair for this sidequel that takes the ideas from the previous films, and runs with it, giving us a deeper look into the world created in the other films, but through the eyes of some new (and a few old) characters.

While not physically present, Jason Bourne, and what he was a part of, play a big role here, making the film's title of 'legacy' really appropriate. Set around (and during) some of the events of The Bourne Ultimatum, this is the story of a new agent whose fate has been sealed by the events of the first three films. His name is Aaron Cross, and, because of what Bourne did, he now founds himself on the run with a fellow person also deeply involved in all of the shadowy government business.

The film has all the globe-trotting thrills you'd expect from this sort of thing, but it doesn't have the same impact as the other films, and this one is easily the weakest/least interesting. That doesn't mean that it is a bad film, but it just isn't as captivating.

The ideas behind it are interesting, and I liked how the film shows the fallout and consequences of the events from previous films, but these new characters in general just aren't as compelling. Renner is solid as the leading man here, but I can't say the same for Weisz, who is rather underwhelming most of the time. I think Norton did decent too, though this seems more like a sleepwalk for him than anything else.

As far as the cinematography goes, Robert Elswit delivers the goods, and we get some gorgeous stuff here. The editing, especially in the action moments is also far less choppy than before, but the action scenes themselves aren't as thrilling as the earlier ones. I did like the end chase, but it went on a tad too long. The hands down best part of the film though, has to be the utterly gripping and suspenseful laboratory shooting scene. That was some intense and chilling stuff. And that's probably Gilroy's best strength here- the ability to really deliver tension and suspense. The rest feels kinda routine, though still decent.

Aside from not being as compelling, the essentially non-existent ending is really frustrating, even though I would like to see more of the Cross character, oddly enough. The film is also too long, and definitely feels that way. The script is also probably a tad too convoluted for its own good.

In the end, as flawed as this might be (and it sure is), I did enjoy this, even if it fails to be as strong as its predecessors. This is one of my rare times where I'll give it the slightest recommendation possible, so give it a watch.
April 6, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Perfectly decent.
April 1, 2013
Julie

Super Reviewer

    1. Retired Col. Eric Byer USAF: We are morally indefensible and absolutely necessary.
    – Submitted by Frances H (9 months ago)
    1. Drone Pilot: What kind of weapon systems is this guy operating?
    2. Dita Mandy: He's probably got a riffle.
    3. Retired Col. Eric Byer USAF: It's a high powered riffle.
    – Submitted by Danielle M (15 months ago)
    1. Aaron Cross: Now, I've got a plan, and it's just not that complicated. What I'm going to do is wait for the next person to show up to kill you. Maybe they can help me.
    – Submitted by Lucas M (16 months ago)
    1. Retired Adm. Mark Turso USN: Is it possible?
    2. Ezra Kramer: Possible? We had Bourne six weeks ago in Moscow. He was on foot, wounded, with a full Cossack posse up his ass. Somehow, he walked out of there. I've kind of lost my perspective on what's possible.
    – Submitted by Lucas M (16 months ago)
    1. Retired Adm. Mark Turso USN: This went from something I don't know about to something on the drawing board, and now you're telling me it's up and running?
    2. Retired Col. Eric Byer USAF: It's up and running. Consider yourself informed.
    – Submitted by Lucas M (16 months ago)
    1. Aaron Cross: June. Your name is June Munroe. Say it.
    2. Dr. Marta Shearing: June Munroe.
    3. Aaron Cross: Say it.
    4. Dr. Marta Shearing: June Munroe.
    5. Aaron Cross: Now, pick a place you lived. The last place you lived. The place you know.
    6. Dr. Marta Shearing: Bethesda.
    7. Aaron Cross: Bethesda. That's where you lived. Anybody ask, you're June Monroe from Bethesda.
    8. Aaron Cross: You lost your wallet. I'm driving you home. My name is James. James and June. Got it?
    – Submitted by Antonio A (18 months ago)
View all quotes (17)

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Latest News on The Bourne Legacy

December 2, 2013:
Bourne Legacy Sequel Set for Summer 2015
Universal sets aside August 14, 2015 for the franchise's next installment, which will bring back...
November 8, 2013:
Universal Wants Justin Lin for Bourne Sequel
Discussions have begun.
August 26, 2013:
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The studio stamps out widespread reports that the duo is in negotiations for another sequel.

Foreign Titles

  • Das Bourne Vermächtnis (DE)
  • Jason Bourne : l'héritage (FR)
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